News from the Senior Management Group no. 12/2011

European Commission President Barroso to visit Aarhus University

José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, is scheduled to visit AU on Friday 15 April in connection with EUA's 10th anniversary conference, which is being hosted by the university.

The EUA (European University Association) has invited Barroso to contribute his perspective on how European universities should contribute to guaranteeing future growth and prosperity in Europe. President Barroso will give his talk in the context of the conference's closing ceremony on Friday afternoon. Other speakers include Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, EUA President Jean-Marc Rapp, and Rector Lauritz B. Holm-Nielsen.

President Barroso will meet with Prime Minister Rasmussen at AU before the closing ceremony.

In connection with President Barroso's visit, two other prominent Danish officials will visit Aarhus: Minister of Science Charlotte Sahl-Madsen and Minister for Climate and Energy Lykke Friis. Sahl-Madsen and Friis will accompany President Barroso to visit Vestas in Skejby and the Aarhus City Hall.

Minister Sahl-Madsen also spoke at at AU on Wednesday 13 April. She spoke at the EUA conference opening ceremony. The theme of the conference is talent development: 'Investing Today in Talent for Tomorrow'.

Final decisions on all department names

The Senior Management Group has finalised the names of all departments at Aarhus University. Students and staff members at the Arts and School of Business and Social Sciences submitted suggestions to the deans of their respective faculties, who then submitted their final recommendations to the senior management group for approval.


The names proposed in the 9 March report for three departments at Arts have been replaced by the following:

  • Institut for Kultur og Samfund (Department of Culture and Society)
  • Institut for Æstetik og Kommunikation (Department of Aesthetics and Communication)
  • Institut for Uddannelse og Pædagogik (DPU) (Department of Education)
  • Center for Undervisningsudvikling og Digitale Medier (Centre for Teaching Development and Digital Media)

There have also been a number of changes to department names at School of Business and Social Sciences:

  • Institut for Erhvervskommunikation (Department of Business Communication)
  • Juridisk Institut (Department of Law)
  • Institut for Statskundskab (Department of Political Science and Government)
  • Psykologisk Institut (Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences)
  • Institut for Erhvervskommunikation (Department of Business Communication)
  • Institut for Statskundskab (Department of Political Science and Government)


There have been no changes to the names of the departments at Science and Technology and Health as set out in the 9 March report.

Constructive 24 hour seminar on academy councils

The Senior Management Group held a 24 hour seminar together with members of the current academy councils earlier this week. The seminar resulted in a proposal to establish a committee to work on developing a model for the academy councils of the future. There was widespread agreement that the task of designing an appropriate solution which integrates the academy councils into the university's managerial structure and which ensures that they play a greater role in internal communication is at once challenging and crucial.

Status of preference clarification round

The first employees who will experience major changes in their job responsibilities as a result of the organisational changes taking place were invited to briefings on the preference clarification process last week. At the same time, University Director Jørgen Jørgensen sent a letter to all members of technical and administrative staff explaining how the process will unfold over the coming months.

As stated in the letter, the four administration managers who will aid in the development of the administrative centres took up their positions on 1 April. The new administration managers are Ole Jensen (Arts), Niels Damgaard Hansen (Science and Technology), Steen Ib Kjeldsen (School of Business and Social Sciences) and Anders Roed (acting administration manager for Health).

The next step in the process is to fill the general manager (funktionschef) positions for the administrative functions headed by the deputy directors, after which the preference clarification round will continue for other managers and staff members.


Many applicants to top posts

The deadline for applications for the remaining five vice-dean positions and the nineteen department head positions announced earlier this now closed.

Twenty-seven applications, of whom approximately one-fourth are women, have applied for the five vice-dean positions. There are two vice-dean positions open at Arts and Health respectively along with a single position at Science and Technology. The applications have been considered by an advisory panel and the Senior Management Group, and a round of interviews has begun, to be followed by personality profile tests.

Eighty-one applications for the nineteen open department head positions (including a position as centre director at AU Herning) have been received. About a quarter of the applicants are female. These applications are being considered according to the same procedure as the vice-dean applications.

Applications positions of deputy director for AU Knowledge Exchange and AU Studies Administration will soon be accepted. The first round of interviews will be held in mid-May, and it is expected that  the two new deputy directors will be announced by 31 May. Vice-deans, department heads and deputy directors will most likely be able to take up their positions either 1 July or 1 July.

First meeting of steering committee held

At its first meeting, the steering committee which is to guide the coming implementation process discussed the framework for its work in the project organisation described in the Tomorrow's AU report. The committee agreed to meet every third week.

It included representatives from the senior management group as well as both academic and technical/administrative staff. Two student representatives who will participate in the group's work were also selected at the first meeting.

New Sino-Danish collaboration

Aarhus University's iNANO Centre will serve as a model for a major Chinese research initiative in the university city of Harbin. The Chinese are particularly enthusiastic about the interdisciplinary, international research culture which has been developed at iNANO in Aarhus. The Harbin-Aarhus International Center of Surfaces and Interfaces (HAISI) will be established at the Harbin Institute of Technology (HIT), one of the country's leading technical universities.

Professor Flemming Besenbacher, the director of iNANO, was awarded an honorary doctorate by HIT at the opening ceremony in Harbin. He signed an agreement on educational collaboration between Aarhus University and HIT on the same occasion. The agreement will make it easier for doctoral students in nanotechnology at both institutions to study abroad at either AU or HIT.

Danish roadmap for research infrastructure

Aarhus University is to head two of six Danish research infrastructure projects which will be allocated a total of DKK 200 million in funding later this year. This is one consequence of the new roadmap for the development of nineteen Danish research facilities which has been produced by the Ministry of Science in collaboration with Danish research institutions in order to improve physical research infrastructure. On the background of the roadmap, the Minister of Science has selected six projects to receive start-up funding this year.

The development of detailed project proposals under the headings 'Digitalt Humaniora Laboratorium' and 'Dansk GHz Faststof NMR Instrumentcenter' will be anchored at AU. The infrastructure projects themselves will be developed in the context of a collaboration among a number of Danish research institutions.



  • 13-15 April: EUA 10th anniversary conference, Aarhus University
  • 14 April: Farewell reception for Director of the National Environmental Research Institute Henrik Sandbech - read interview with Dr Sandbech (in Danish)
  • 27 April: Meeting of the University Board
  • 28-30 April: Festival of Research
  • 29 April: Annual boat race in the University Park, Aarhus C
  • 12-14 May: MatchPoints 2011


Kind regards

The Senior Management Group

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